Developing a website design that is both visually stunning and effective at meeting business objectives is no small feat. It requires a productive collaboration between client and web design team, with both playing a vital role in the outcome. Here are 10 ways you can improve this partnership to ensure a positive—and business effective—outcome.
1. Focus on problems, not solutions.
Yes, that sounds wrong. But if you want to get the most from your designer, that is where your focus needs to be. For example, if you are worried that the color choices won’t sit well with your audience, tell your designer—along with the reason for your concern. Then let the designer come up with a solution. In that scenario, both of you are playing to your strengths—you are employing your knowledge of your business and audience, and your designer is utilizing creativity and knowledge of the medium.
2. Remember: Your web design should focus on user needs and business objectives.
Don’t get bogged down in the details of the design. It’s the designer’s job to worry about the details. Instead, ask yourself two questions. How will users respond to this design? Will it meet my business objectives?
3. Always ask, “Why?”
When people tell you what they think of the design, always ask them why they feel the way they do. Why don’t they like the color? Why do they think the logo should be made bigger? Ask yourself the same questions. Often there are underlying reasons for a reaction towards a design. Giving the designer more than “I just don’t like it” will help find the most appropriate solution. Which leads us to our next point.
4. Recognize your personal bias.
Design is very subjective. We all have our opinion when it comes to design—a mental list of images, colors and combinations that we like (or hate). And so does your boss. At the end of the day, it’s not about whether you (or your boss) like the design. The question is, will the prospective user like it?
5. If in doubt (or even if you’re sure), test.
Let’s revisit personal bias. If you find yourself unsure about the design direction or disagreeing, test the design. And if you love the way things are going, test the design. There are loads of ways you can get feedback from a bigger group of people and none of them need to be time consuming or expensive. Testing the design will give you the confidence, and some hard evidence, that things are heading in the right direction. This blog by Kissmetrics goes in-depth about the way s you can test a website design prior to launch.
6. In the digital world, nothing is permanent.
Unlike the print medium, the web can be changed at any time. Making a design decision doesn’t have to be a life or death choice. If something goes live and users don’t approve, it can be altered with relative ease.
7. Listen to the research.
Designing a website is not the same as producing a piece of art. There is a considerable amount of science and psychology behind the discipline of digital development, as well as a steady stream of research. Where possible, build on best practices and avoid working from hunches or personal preference.
8. Resist the urge to copy.
There is nothing wrong with looking at your competition, or any other website, for inspiration. In fact, we encourage it. However, blindly following what other people do is usually a mistake. Your business, goals, customers and prospects are different. Design a site that reflects who you are, what you want to say and how you plan to do business. Designing a “me-too” site just puts you one step behind.
9. Context is everything. Always consider it.
You and your design team will spend hours discussing the right approach for your website. As a result, you will have a firm grasp of why certain decisions have been made. The danger comes when you present work to colleagues who don’t share that knowledge. Make sure you thoroughly brief anyone viewing the design for the first time so they know the rationale behind what they are seeing.
10. Choose your decision-makers wisely
Because design is subjective, showing it to too many people can muddy the decision-making process. Instead, keep the number of people involved to a select few. Then, canvas their opinions individually to avoid the dreaded “design by committee.”
If you’re looking for a talented web design team, someone to guide you through the process, or both, that’s what we do at VistaComm. We provide next-level marketing services for agribusinesses. Contact us at to learn more.
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